TRAC survey reveals more than three-in-ten British Columbia motorists do not use winter tires

Eighty per cent of winter tire owners believe driving a vehicle equipped with winter tires has saved them from being involved in a potentially hazardous driving situation such as loss of control or a collision, according to a new consumer survey commissioned by the Tire and Rubber Association of Canada (TRAC).

TRAC’s 2018 Canadian Consumer Winter Tire Study also found that 76 per cent of Canadian motorists now use winter tires. In comparison, TRAC’s 2017 study found 66 per cent of drivers were using winter tires.

Excluding Quebec, where winter tires are required by law, winter tire usage stands at 70 per cent.

The 2017 study found 60 per cent of drivers were using winter tires outside Quebec.

This surge in winter tire usage is reflected in winter tire shipments across Canada, which have grown at an annualized rate of four per cent over the past five years.

The top motivations for purchasing winter tires, include: winter tire laws (34 per cent); advice from family and friends (17 per cent); lower auto insurance premiums (11 per cent), and positive media coverage (seven per cent).

Regionally, the 2018 study found:

  • 64 per cent of British Columbia drivers use winter tires
  • Alberta’s usage rate is 70 per cent
  • In Manitoba and Saskatchewan usage stands at 60 per cent
  • 69 per cent of Ontario drivers now use winter tires
  • In Atlantic Canada, where winter tire usage is surpassed only by Quebec, winter tire usage stands at 94 per cent

British Columbia findings:

  • Among those not using winter tires, 53 per cent believe all-seasons are “good enough”
  • 28 per cent say they do not use winter tires because they do not drive much in winter
  • nine per cent say cost is their reason for not using winter tires

The most common reasons why three-in-ten drivers still resist winter tires are the belief that all-season tires provide enough traction (53 per cent), cost (18 per cent) and reduced driving in winter (15 per cent).

Full survey results are available at www.tracanada.ca.